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Up to date as of February 04, 2010

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This article is about the title. You may be looking for Emperor Palpatine.
Emperor Palpatine, the Emperor of the first Galactic Empire.
"By bringing the entire galaxy under one law, one language, and the enlightened guidance of one individual, the corruption that plagued the Republic in its later years will never take root."

Galactic Emperor was the title of the Head of State of the Galactic Empire and, later, the Fel and Sith Empires.


Powers and functions

"As the Emperor wills it, so shall it be."
Darth Vader

The Galactic Emperor's power and authority were mainly derived from those of the Supreme Chancellor and the additional rights, responsiblites, and powers bestowed upon that office by the Senate during the Separatist crisis and Clone Wars. It also derived from the Senate itself. The Emperor was the ultimate head of the Imperial Inner Circle, and was, at least nominally or symbolically, advised by the Imperial Senate.

The Emperor was the head of state, the head of government, and the commander-in-chief of the Empire, and had absolute authority over the Imperial Military, the bureaucracy, and the entire Empire and sectors itself. The Emperor had sole power to appoint, dismiss, approve, and supervise the regional governors. The Emperor organized and declared the budget, economy, taxes, and trade, ordered the Imperial Senate into session, dismissed it from meeting at will, declared it's agenda, and proposed, rejected, and initated all Senatorial bills. The Emperor also controlled, supervised, and disbanded the Courts and had the final judical say. The Emperor could execute, imprison, exile, banish, or confiscate anyone or anything. The Emperor could also issue executive orders, proclamations, and laws making rule and such over the Empire. The Emperor supervised, controlled, appointed, and dismissed all officials in the government, and created, disbanded, supervised, and adminstered all governmental administrations, agencies, commissions, and boards.


Palpatine was the first and only official Emperor of the first Galactic Empire—most of the Imperial leaders who followed were not recognized by all Imperials or never made use of the title of Emperor. One, Sate Pestage, seems to have legitimately held the title in the interim between Palpatine's death at Endor and his expected return; however, Pestage was killed before Palpatine did return, leaving the throne apparently unoccupied.[1][2]

Emperor Palpatine's official heir would normally be Darth Vader, as he is Palpatine's third Sith apprentice; however, there were indications that he never intended this to happen—he wanted Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, to take his father's place at Palpatine's side by killing Vader. However, Palpatine had prepared clone bodies of himself to take his place after his deaths, so there was never an official method for choosing a new Emperor.

In the Declaration of a New Order, Palpatine's speech had indicated that the Imperial Senate would elect the Galactic Emperor, but no one in the Imperial High Command had any desire to restore a body that would probably dissolve the Empire, so many Imperial commanders became rogue warlords after the Battle of Endor.

After the final death of Palpatine in 11 ABY, Xandel Carivus proclaimed himself the Emperor, but was soon killed by Kir Kanos.

Under the Imperial Remnant, the role of Imperial Head of State was assumed by Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet.

It was unclear what led to the appointment of Jagged Fel as Emperor, but the title clearly became hereditary; i.e., not dependent upon election or appointment. The Council of Moffs opposed this concept when Princess Marasiah Fel was to be future Empress of the Empire. Some, like Admiral Veed, silently schemed to usurp the throne.

When the One Sith took over, Darth Krayt abolished this system in his faction, thus becoming the absolute ruler of the empire. Roan Fel, on the other hand, retained this system in his faction, making Princess Sia his heir apparent and future ruler over what was left of their territory.

Behind the scenes

Kyle Katarn becomes the new Emperor in the alternative non-canon option of Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, succeeding Jerec.

There is some confusion as to whether Ysanne Isard actually claimed the title Empress or not. While Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties referred to her as Empress, other works such as Wedge's Gamble contradict this, and it is possible that this reference was figurative.

In the novelization of Star Wars, Obi-Wan mentions that there have been multiple emperors, with only the later ones becoming corrupt and with the original Emperor having been assassinated earlier. This was inspired by the first draft of the film, where there had never been a Republic, only an originally-benign Empire which fell to evil.[3]


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  • Star Wars: Battlefront (Heard only)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel
  • "Mist Encounter" - Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Purge: Seconds to Die
  • Star Wars Dark Times 13: Blue Harvest, Part 1
  • Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (Mentioned only)
  • Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows (Mentioned only)
  • Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of Force (Appears in hologram)
  • The Last of the Jedi: Death on Naboo
  • The Last of the Jedi: A Tangled Web
  • The Last of the Jedi: Return of the Dark Side
  • The Last of the Jedi: Secret Weapon
  • The Last of the Jedi: Against the Empire (Appears in hologram)
  • The Last of the Jedi: Master of Deception
  • Star Wars Empire: Betrayal
  • Star Wars Journal: The Fight for Justice (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novel (First mentioned)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (Appears in hologram)
  • Star Wars Missions 8: Togorian Trap
  • Star Wars Adventures Volume 2: Princess Leia and the Royal Ransom (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novel (First appearance)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Shadows of the Empire novel
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi novel
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (As the "Imperial Executive")
  • X-wing: Rogue Squadron (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: Wedge's Gamble (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: The Krytos Trap (Mentioned only)
  • X-wing: The Bacta War (Mentioned only)
  • The Bounty Hunters: Kenix Kil (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood
  • Boba Fett: Agent of Doom (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Legacy: Broken
  • Star Wars Legacy 4: Noob

Non-canonical appearances

  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
  • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game — Ultimate Sith Edition (Appears in hologram)


Notes and references

  1. Rebellion Era Sourcebook
  2. Omnibus: X-wing Rogue Squadron Volume 3
  3. The Secret History of Star Wars

See also

This article uses material from the "Galactic Emperor" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Star Wars Fanon

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

The Star Wars wiki of fan invention.

Galactic Emperor was a title used to denote the leader of the numerous Galactic Empires that existed during the history of the galaxy.

This article uses material from the "Galactic Emperor" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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